A weak economy is a solid time to sell a product that can save companies 30-60 percent on their energy bills. Computer energy software maker Verdiem, which passed the 1 million mark back in August for the number of government and business PCs that are running its software, has raised $4.71 million of a $5.93 million round from investors including Kleiner Perkins and Catamount Ventures, according to a filing with the SEC. The Seattle-based company was founded in 2001 and as of 2007 had raised a total of $15 million.
Verdiem makes a software program called Surveyor that centrally monitors and manages the energy consumption of networked business PCs. The company also has a consumer-facing product called Edison, which is free and downloadable from the web. Its Surveyor product, however, provides the bulk of the company’s revenues, and costs about $30 to $60 per PC per year, with an average return on investment of between eight and nine months according to the company.
We’ve reached out to the company to see how it plans to spend the funds. But my best guess would be simply growth and customer outreach. The company has already brought in customers like cable firm Cox Communications, which deployed Verdiem’s software on 15,000 PCs, the city of Chicago (for almost 9,500 PCs), the city of Honolulu (for almost 1,700 computers) and the city of Seattle. Verdiem also has a high-profile deal with Microsoft, which could help bring in new customers, and new funding could help pave the way to more partnership deals.
While Verdiem seems to be the solution of choice for many organizations looking to reduce the energy consumption of networked PCs, the technology itself could face increased competition this year. PC energy management software isn’t all that high-tech and any larger software maker (like Microsoft) could jump into the space. 1E has also been selling its PC management software for over a decade, counting among its customers AT&T, Verizon Wireless and HSBC, and saying it invented the PC power management sector. And 1E launched an energy management server edition in October.